My Daughter the Teenage Nudist Documentary
Guest Blog by: Melissa Dejanude
Teenage Nudist - Tweets and Facebook shares hit the online walls like graffiti on a billboard about a Channel 4 video called “My Daughter the Teenage Nudist”, a nudist documentary film carrying a message about body acceptance, well more so the message within the message.
The movie title suggests this film would primarily be about a teenage nudist; however, it is in fact about a journey to recruit more young people into nudism. Mollie and Alex and Daryl “who are part of a growing group of teens and twenty-something’s embracing the world of public nudity and social nakedity – a contemporary phenomenon that’s been driven by social networking sites such as Facebook as well as niche websites like “Naked Vegan Cooking”.
They are on a quest to normalize social nudity, question the media’s obsession with the body beautiful, and encourage other young people to liberate themselves by simply going naked – in the streets, in cafes or at art shows.”
This film starts off with Mollie, 18 year old girl in the title, riding her bike in The London World Naked Bike Ride just after learning of social nudity by randomly googling World Naked Bike Ride, a worldwide public protest against CO2 emissions. Her mother conveys that she is less thrilled about her daughter parading herself through the streets of London no more so than her posting her bits on Facebook after collecting footage of herself and her friends. The WNBR was the doorway that led the pathway into this world of naturist freedom for Molly as it is for most others; however, she later on reveals that she does not want to be a full on nudist and is quite happy just doing it with herself and with her friends.
Alex, founder of a website called Naked Vegan Cooking, shares this similar feeling while expressing her desire to not be labeled as a nudist. Alex and her friends never dreamed of joining any naturist clubs until they first learned that clubs were not necessarily centered around older people playing sports just as most media makes out naturism to be. Daryl Jones, youth leader of Young British Naturists, helps shed some light within the cracks of nudism by introducing Alex to a nudist resort to experience it for herself.
All throughout the movie, Daryl pushes the movement of naturism forward in manners most conventional to the standard social settings of society. Such ways included passing out fliers to attract new people to an Naked Art Project, an equal collaboration of artists, naturists and activists on mass-nude body-positive art projects. This exhibition aimed to explore themes of non-sexual nudity, feminism and body positivity. While soliciting for prospects, Daryl and Alex found themselves in quite of a predicament when they both decided to go topless for the sake of nudity.
“My Daughter the Teenage Nudist” is a great film to watch for all ages, which can be most commonly understood by naturists and nudists alike. Given the lack of diversity with shapes and sizes in the gender of women, it may not necessarily relate to women or men who are not familiar with the benefits of naturism. This film will give mixed signals to outside onlookers because it is centered on the life of the main cast who have “perfect bodies”. Other scenes include gawkers and voyeurs portraying nudists to be more like exhibitionists than freedom makers. All and all the struggles these leaders face is a perfect example of the hard work young naturists battle with in order to encourage growth in the movement. The efforts of public outreach that both Daryl and Alex display are noteworthy as an inspiration for anyone who wants to dedicate their life to leadership in order to live in a free world where nudity is looked upon as something natural, the way God intended it.
“Everybody’s beautiful together because somebody is different. Nobody’s perfect. It’s such a liberating feeling” ~ Mollie
Original Air Date 12th January, 10pm on Channel 4